Don’t hate the messenger: according to a study earlier this year, death by bacon may be a real possibility. A study published in the journal BMC Medicine of 448,568 people found that eating processed foods like bacon, sausage, ham, and other processed meats increases the risk of dying prematurely. The massive long-term study followed people in 10 European countries for 12.7 years.
After adjusting for smoking, inactivity, other dietary factors, and other lifestyle factors, researchers concluded that, “significant associations with processed meat intake were observed for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and ‘other causes of death.’”
The researchers found that those people eating more than 160g of processed meat a day – approximately the equivalent of two sausages and a slice of bacon – were 44 percent more likely to die in the follow-up period than those eating about 20g.
The consumption of poultry was not related to all-cause mortality.
Heart disease was the primary cause of death during the study but cancer was also high. Other causes of death were also elevated among the people eating higher amounts of processed meat.
Does that mean you have to give up bacon? Of course not. But it does mean you should at least know the risks of eating it or any other processed meat on a daily basis.
There is a high price to pay for the trend toward “bacon-on-everything” that seems to be so popular these days. It’s hard to argue with such an enormous and long-term study. And, contrary to misinformation and propaganda I’ve seen floating around on the Internet, bacon (and other processed meat) is clearly not a health food.
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